DC Interconnect, Inc. (DCI) is a Vancouver, B.C. based company engaged in the systematic integration of HVDC technologies into large, predominantly ac electric grids for the purposes of increasing transmission asset utilization and enhancing network reliability.

The end result of such systematic integration is the segmentation into a set of asynchronously operated ac sectors that are, at the same time, strongly interconnected by HVDC links to enhance electricity trading and provide mutual support during contingency (emergency) operations.

The segmentation concept envisions certain HVAC ties being replaced by HVDC links.  Each link is comprised of an HVDC line or a back-to-back HVDC converter. The benefits of this type of systematic integration of HVDC technologies include:

  • Prevention of cascading disturbances and associated blackouts by confining the undesirable consequences of initiating events to the sector(s) in which they originated
  • Expansion of inter-sector transfer capability due to the elimination of stability limits and loop flows, and the ability to expand the transmission capacity of existing right-of-ways (ROWs); and
  • Improvement of power markets efficiency because of increased inter-sector transfer capabilities and the ability to align physical power flows with contract source-sink flow requirements.

As power grids grow in size and complexity, there has been also a significant rise in the number of contingencies that can cause cascading and blackouts. Moreover, grid operation and management have become increasingly difficult. Relying on traditional solutions such as installing reactive power devices, series capacitors, stabilizers and/or new transmission lines has inevitably increased system complexity and consequently the probability of catastrophic failures – as in the case of cascading.

DCI segmentation solutions can deliver manageable ac sectors with strong (i.e., large and fully controllable) HVDC inter-sector ties. In a segmented grid, every HVAC interconnection benefit is either retained or increased and every disadvantage is removed. The power flow control and buffering provided by HVDC transmission enhance all HVAC benefits while eliminating stability constraints, preventing cascading, managing power flow, and improving market operations.

DCI has partnered and is interested in partnering with electrical power transmission companies to develop and deliver this effective solution.


Segmented Grid

HVDC Transmission Tower
Photo courtesy of MHI